Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Delightfully Choking on My Sandwich – Farm Truck

May 2, 2013
Farm Truck, Philadelphia PA
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Artichoke Pesto Sandwich
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ImagePesto? Check. Mozzarella? Check. Tomatoes? Check. Freshly pressed or toasted bread? Check. Thank you, Farm Truck, for a wonderful lunch, and for throwing some artichoke in there, as well!Image

The Artichoke Pesto Sandwich was absolutely delightful. The sourdough bread was rustic and quite nice. The mozzarella was fresh and light while retaining that bouncy chewiness. The artichoke pesto was just delightfully aromatic, and the roasted tomatoes were sour and had a deep flavour, that of a good quality tomato. This sandwich made me a very happy girl. 

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Livin’ Off Convenient Stores – Wawa

March 19, 2013
Wawa, Philadelphia PA
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Premium Honey Smoked Turkey w/ Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Hoagie
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pancake Sizzli
Rainbow Cookie
Mozzarella Sticks
Sweet Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel
Red Velvet Muffin
BBQ Roast Pork Hoagie
Cookies & Cream Donut
Iced Chocolate Caramel Latte
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ImageThere are just those days that Wawa is my go to place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks, of course. This was just one of those days.

ImageThe Premium Honey Smoked Turkey w/ Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Hoagie was actually great. It was also National Poultry Day so turkey fit the bill. The eggs were hot and fluffy. The turkey was slightly sweet and thinly sliced. The roll was toasted and crispy on the outside. I had a little trouble finding the cheese but otherwise, it was a good breakfast hoagie – more expensive than food trucks but I liked the eggs a lot more.Image

The Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pancake Sizzli was okay. I find it odd to have actual pancakes with no syrup as a breakfast sandwich but it was lightly sweet and nice. The sausage patty was a little dry but had good flavour, as did the cheese. I just was not a fan of the preformed egg omelet.
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The Rainbow Cookie had a lot of chocolate candies, making it so colourful. I loved the crisp that a regular chocolate chip or chunk cookie that just has melted chocolate. I liked the lightly sweetened cookie dough but it was a little over-baked, neither crispy nor gooey. I prefer the latter.
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The Mozzarella Sticks had a nice thin batter on the outside with very stringy, chewy mozzarella inside. I loved the chewiness of the cheese and I could pull it so long without it at all breaking. I was disappointed that if I wanted marinara sauce, I had to pay for it.Image

The Sweet Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel was chewy with a crisp exterior. The inside was filled with delicious sweet cream cheese. It was a nice balance between the sweet filling and the salt on the pretzel. I wished there was more of the cheese filling inside. I love the light sweetness of it.Image

The Red Velvet Muffin was so red that it was food colour overdose. The muffin was moist and dense with a crisp top. Inside was filled with sweet cream that was a little too buttery. The muffin was good though, compared to some smaller independent cafes.Image

The limited-time BBQ Roast Pork Hoagie was overloaded with Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. The sauce was great on the hot roast pork. The pork was juicy and decently tender. The BBQ sauce covered up the provolone cheese, though, and all the juices made half the bread somewhat soggy.Image

The Cookies & Cream Donut was actually good. I liked the cookie crumble with the frosting, and especially the cookies and cream filling. It was not too sweet but not greasy either. The doughnut was also fresh since it was still early in the day.Image

ImageFor National Chocolate Caramel Day and American Chocolate Week, I tried the Iced Chocolate Caramel Latte. It was decent, just milky enough and had the tastes of chocolate and caramel, although it was not very sweet. I liked how the ice is crushed ice so not large cubes. The whip cream with chocolate drizzle did not add much but it was refreshing.

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Seafood for Fast Food – Quiznos

March 15, 2013
Quiznos, Philadelphia PA
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Lobster & Seafood Salad
Chicken Milano
Chili
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ImageQuiznos’ limited-time promotional item, the Lobster & Seafood Salad, was something I had my eye on last year but never got around to trying it. It was actually pretty good. Full of seafood and a little lobster meat, it was tender and just a tad creamy. The texture was great and the salad with tomatoes was refreshing. 

ImageThe Chicken Milano, which I got with rosemary parmesan bread, looked better in the promotional photo than in real life. It did taste okay, with tender chicken and melted mozzarella and 3-cheese blend. The tomatoes and lettuce were refreshing but I loved the sun-dried tomato and basil pestos. Those two flavours came together nicely on the toasty warm bread.Image

The Chili was actually decent, with lots of beans and ground beef. It had a nice tomato flavour that was filled with spices and was decently thick. 

I will say that Quiznos really needs to lower their prices, especially when their food selections are no longer rare wherever you are. $5+ for a small sub sandwich is just no longer acceptable.

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Chillin’ in Drexel – Seasons at Drexel

ImageMarch 12, 2013
Seasons at Drexel, Philadelphia PA
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Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich
Pear Strudel
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Seasons at Drexel draws my attention every time I pass it, with its brightly lit, clean interior and delicious cafe fare in its showcases.Image

The Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich was very good, although it seemed more like a multigrain roll rather than a ciabatta. The Mediterranean vegetable caponata (eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, red peppers, and perhaps another type that I do not recall), kalamata, and sundried tomato tapenade inside was very flavourful, tasty and not too greasy. It paired nicely with the fresh mozzarella, making for a very good quality sandwich.Image

The Pear Strudel just sounded too good to pass. The flaky pastry was incredibly, well, flaky, after being toasted. It broke apart so easily and got crumbs all over the place. The brown sugar and pear mixture inside was sweet on sweet but I did not mind as the pastry shell was not sweet itself. It was a gooey, sweet mess.Image

Their food is quite pricey for what they are offering but at least the quality is good and the service friendly. They also have some interesting items that cannot be found elsewhere near campus, so that was definitely a plus!

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Quick and Casual Sonata – Allegro Pizza & Grill

March 11, 2013
Allegro Pizza & Grill, Philadelphia PA
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Vegetable Panini
Spanish Omelette
Tiramisu
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ImageAfter endless dinners of cheese, pepperoni, and vegetable pizzas from Allegro during club meetings and various events, it was time I tried some other dishes at the ever so popular casual diner on campus. 

ImageThe Vegetable Panini was not bad. I did like the variety of grilled vegetables inside as they were not too greasy: broccoli, spinach, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. I asked for mozzarella but it was neither gooey nor flavourful, too processed I guess. The home-made focaccia was a little thin and not soft enough for me. It was almost like flatbread. The fries that came with it were at least cooked to a good texture.

ImageThe Spanish Omelette, which I got with egg whites, was decent but slightly greasy. I did like the vegetables but egg whites are supposed to be light and not have too much oil on it. The server was nice enough to allow me to substitute home fries for fruit salad without additional charges since I had fries with my panini already. The toast was not the right texture, though. One was too crispy, almost burnt, and the other not crispy enough. Image

Finally, the Tiramisu was obviously not homemade. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit. The creamy texture was light and it did have soaked lady finger-like cake at the bottom with a strong coffee flavour.

For a quick meal, students are usually satisfied with what can be found here. It is relatively clean and not too expensive, with an extensive menu beyond just pizzas. 

Allegro Pizza on Urbanspoon

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Sandwiches and Sweets – Starbucks

March 8, 2013
Starbucks, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
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ラントブロート クロックマダム (Landbrot Croque-madame)
イタリアンソーセージとチーズのタルティーヌ (Italian Sausage & Cheese Tartine)
パンプキンタルト (Pumpkin Tart)
クッキー&クリームチーズケーキ (Cookie & Cream Cheese Cake)
チェリー&カスタードマフィン (Cherry & Custard Muffin)
キャラメルピーカンナッツロール (Caramel & Pecan Nut Roll)
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ImageDoesn’t matter where you are, you can be sure Starbucks will be crowded in the morning. Their food selections are certainly getting better and the ones in Japan have way too many interesting choices that doesn’t matter how often I go, I still could not try all of them. So, I had to be selective. At least sharing with friends gave me more opportunities to taste all this delicious food!

The sandwich, ラントブロート クロックマダム (Landbrot Croque-madame), was so tasty! A pressed panini, it had chicken, melted gooey mozzarella cheese, and an almost-runny egg. I really enjoyed the savoury combination. The cheese had great flavour and was not bland. The bread had a nice crisp exterior and soft on the inside. It was a great breakfast sandwich!Image

The イタリアンソーセージとチーズのタルティーヌ (Italian Sausage & Cheese Tartine) also had great flavour. I really loved the creamy white sauce that covered the sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, and cauliflower. The bread was a bit too crisp and hard for my liking and I was never a fan of potatoes. However, the other ingredients were all delicious.Image

The パンプキンタルト (Pumpkin Tart) was very good. It had a good pumpkin custard texture and the crust was crumbly but not too dry. Inside was cubes of kabocha, the Asian version of winter squash that is sometimes translated as pumpkin. The tart was not at all very sweet but rather had the hearty taste of the squash. The pepitas, whipped cream, and glaze added nice touches.Image

The クッキー&クリームチーズケーキ (Cookie & Cream Cheese Cake) was not as great as I thought it would be. It was a regular, albeit a very good and creamy, cheesecake with chocolate cookie swirled in. There was a chocolate cookie crust and it was topped with chunks of very crumbly chocolate cookies. It was not too sweet despite being all chocolate and cheesecake but I guess that’s the good thing about Asian desserts.Image

The チェリー&カスタードマフィン (Cherry & Custard Muffin) was actually decent. The inside was moist, dense, yet soft. I loved the large, semi-dried cherries that were very sweet. The custard could have been more custard-like. It was a little dry and there did not seem to be enough.

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The キャラメルピーカンナッツロール (Caramel & Pecan Nut Roll) was delicious and sweet. Finally, something sweet enough! Rather, it was where there was caramel drizzle that was sweet – and sticky. The pecans were good and crunchy. The roll was a little dry and the parts without caramel was not as good. With all the ingredients together, though, it was delicious.

So many choices, so many goodies! And all of this is only one country. Imagine the collection of Starbucks treats from all around the world. Now that would be a feast!

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The Typically Expensive Panini at JFK – Balducci’s

ImageMarch 2, 2013
Balducci’s, New York NY
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Italian Panini
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Everything in New York is expensive and that certainly includes lunch at the airport. $10 for a panini from Balducci’s at JFK was pretty outrageous, but at least it was good. It was definitely possible to pay $10 and be extremely disappointed. Luckily, this was not one of those times.Image

The Italian Panini had quite a lot of some salty but delicious prosciutto along with tomato, basil pesto, and fresh mozzarella. The tomatoes were not in season, but the pesto had good flavour. The mozzarella was light and yummy. I do appreciate that they can properly press a panini so that the ciabatta was crispy on the outside yet still soft and warm on the inside. It was not a very large sandwich but it was very filling. At least the airport still has acceptable food so that even if my wallet cries, my taste buds are not. 

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Monkey Gone Wild – Brysi Cafe

March 1, 2013
Brysi Cafe, Philadelphia PA
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Caprese Sandwich
Sticky Monkey Sandwich
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ImageNot only was March National Flour Month and National Peanut Month, March 1 was also National Peanut Butter Day. On my last day on campus before the break, I knew I just had to pay a visit to Brysi Café, having seen the ad in the weekly email I receive about their Sticky Monkey Sandwich. The café was spacious and relaxing, with a few tables and a counter filled with healthy bars and treats since it is located in a fitness center. They make their sandwiches to order so it comes off the panini press crispy on the outside and toasty hot.

ImageFirst, I opted for the Caprese Sandwich on wheat bread. The mozzarella was very fresh and the pesto was oily and aromatic, soaking into the nicely pressed and slightly sweet bread. Whole wheat bread is lovely when you can actually taste that light sweet undertone. The vine ripe tomatoes were not very flavourful, though, probably because of the season. The baby spinach was actually replaced with the kind that has huge, slightly curly leaves.Image

The Sticky Monkey Sandwich on white bread was absolutely scrumptious. The crispy yet soft bread went really well with the peanut butter, honey, sliced bananas, and pumpkin seeds. I loved the savoury and sweet blend of sticky peanut butter and honey. They just stuck like glue. The bananas added to the sweetness and aroma while the pepitas were a delightful crunch.Image

I would love to come here after a workout for a healthy, light meal. Next time, I shall give their breakfast, smoothie, and other sandwich options a try. 

Brysi on Urbanspoon

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On the Need for Paninis: Part XV – Milk & Honey Market

February 23, 2013
Milk & Honey Market, Philadelphia PA
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Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookie
Bourbon Pecan Bar
Banana Bread
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ImageThe Milk & Honey Market is a good walk off campus, but it was National Banana Bread Day so I decided to check them out. The store was small and sold various, good quality cheeses, deli meats, and other gourmet foods. I love the atmosphere of a quaint little neighborhood store and also decided to have dinner there.

The Caprese Panini had very fresh Claudio’s mozzarella. It was light, slightly chewy, and very good with the tomatoes. However, I found this panini to be lacking in basil pesto. It was very fresh, house-made pesto, but there was not enough of the oily aroma.Image

The German Chocolate Cake looked scrumptious and tasted even better. The chocolate cake was moist yet dense, and not too sweet. I loved the frosting, though, which had syrup, I think, pecans, and shredded coconut. That part was certainly very sweet and sticky – I absolutely loved it.

ImageThe Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookie was a little dry and crunchy. I prefer soft, chewy cookies. However, it was sweet and did not lack any flavours of a regular cookie. It was not very buttery or oily, which I did appreciate.Image

The Bourbon Pecan Bar was also delicious. I could not taste much bourbon but the pecans in the sticky, syrup-based bar was crunchy and sweet. The crust on the bottom was buttery and not sweet, so the bar was still acceptable for most people. I loved the sweetness a lot and am sure the bourbon helped with that.Image

Finally, the Banana Bread had good flavour and was not overly oily or sweet. However, it was a little dry, especially the sides and the bottom. I did like the crunch of the walnuts inside.

The Milk & Honey Market offered so many small treats that all looked incredible. Their prices are decent so I am sure I will be back soon to try some cookie sandwiches, smoothies, and other delicious goods in this neighborhood gem.

Milk & Honey Market on Urbanspoon

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On the Need for Paninis: Part XIV – Penn Bookstore Cafe

February 22, 2013
Penn Bookstore Cafe, Philadelphia PA
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Chocolate Lava Cake
Tomato Caprese
Mango Raspberry Twist Frappuccino Blended Beverage
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The Penn Bookstore Café is one of the most popular study spots on campus, offering a slightly more exotic drink menu and various delicious-looking desserts and lunch options. The atmosphere in the bookstore is also nice, quiet without the stress of a regular school building. The smell of coffee also helps.Image

My Chocolate Lava Cake was decent enough, especially since it had a very strong chocolate flavour. The base of the cake was a little dry but the top was more of a ganache that was sweet, sticky, and amazing. It did lack the molten chocolate gushing out of the cake though, so I would not exactly call this a lava cake.

ImageThe Tomato Caprese panini was pricy at $6.50 but very delicious. It was pressed nicely and the mozzarella was light and fresh, as were the tomatoes. There was plenty of pesto, which added to the richness of the panini. I never mind a little too much olive oil and pesto so it was great for me.Image

Although their drinks are very similar to Starbucks, they offered a Mango Raspberry Twist Frappuccino Blended Beverage not available elsewhere. It was such a pretty color and tasted even more amazing, with a very strong flavour of mango puree. The raspberry was more in the background and just added another tone to the tang and sweetness. It was so refreshing.

I am definitely coming back here more often to try their other interesting desserts, drinks, and sandwiches. They also offer soup, which seems to be delicious on a cold day. 

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